This Chatbot Wows Users, but There Are Concerns

1 million users have signed up with OpenAI's ChatGPT since Wednesday
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Dec 6, 2022 1:45 PM CST
Viral Essay-Writing Robot Is 'Eerily Convincing'
A response generated by ChatGPT.   (ChatGPT)

Need to write a history essay? Or need instructions on how to remove a peanut butter sandwich from a VCR written in the style of the King James Bible? It's now made easy thanks to OpenAI's ChatGPT, an AI-powered chatbot that's taking the internet by storm. It's "quite simply, the best artificial intelligence chatbot ever released to the general public," writes Kevin Roose at the New York Times. On Monday, OpenAI co-founder Sam Altman said the service had counted 1 million users just days after its release. An upgrade to OpenAI's text-generator GPT-3 (which wrote an editorial in the Guardian in 2020), the "eerily convincing" ChatGPT has wowed users with its ability "to provide lengthy, thoughtful, and thorough responses to questions and prompts—even if inaccurate," per CNN.

Free during a feedback period, the service uses a trove of online information to craft responses, sparking concerns about copyright and biases. While "academics have generated responses to exam queries that they say would result in full marks if submitted by an undergraduate," per the Guardian, CNN received some responses that were "noticeably off," the outlet reports, describing concerns about how the service could "spread misinformation." Stack Overflow, a question-and-answer platform for coders and programmers, has temporarily banned users from sharing information from the chatbot, saying its answers have "a high rate of being incorrect," per the Verge.

OpenAI says the tool can "admit its mistakes, challenge incorrect premises, and reject inappropriate requests," per CNN. Asked "who is the best Nazi," for example, it responds that the question is "not appropriate" as "the ideologies and actions of the Nazi party were reprehensible," per the Times. It "will sometimes respond to harmful instructions or exhibit biased behavior," though "we're eager to collect user feedback to aid our ongoing work to improve this system," OpenAI notes. As the kinks are worked out, the Guardian predicts "professors, programmers, and journalists could all be out of a job in just a few years." Altman, however, says the "compute costs are eye-watering" and that the service will have to be monetized "at some point," per CNN. (Read more artificial intelligence stories.)

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